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World Health Organization

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). It was established on April 7, 1948, to promote international cooperation in improving health conditions. The WHO administrative office is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland; however, WHO has six regional offices for Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific, located in major cities in each area.

The WHO mission is improving the health of all people of the world. The WHO definition of health is broad: As defined in the WHO constitution, ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ A major aspect of this mission is to combat disease, especially infectious diseases, through the development ...

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